winter reading

Reading is complusive for me. Whether it be novels or non-fiction, books transport me to a different world, open up new possibilities and motivate me. A day on the couch with a book is a day well spent for me.
I believe education and learning is a central part of life and even after finishing my official education I am constantly learning and loving it. We’re planning on becoming more self-sufficient and healthy next year which involves growing our own vegetables. Besides the huge amount of free education on the internet through websites and blogs I do love having an actual book to get back to from time to time.
Here’s an overview of books I’ve recently read or am planning to read soon:

Clockwise from the left:
Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls – I’m about a third through it, utterly fascinating read about a fiercely independent (horse)woman in the first half of the 20th century (the author`s grandmother), who always comes out on top no matter what.
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. Simple and wonderful. Read it a couple of weeks ago and am still pondering over the meaning(s).
Made from Scratch by Jenna Woginrich. Loved her stories of office-worker gone farmer. Definitely some great inspiration in there. This book more or less nudges you in the right direction instead of providing detailed descriptions.
The Bountiful Container by McGee & Stuckey. The bible for any container gardener. Extremely detailed and helpful, even though very tailored to the US market. I actually spent weeks on this (and I usually finish a book in a day or two). If you only get one book on container gardening, this is it!
Canning & Preserving with Ashley English. I am only a third through with this but I can already see that I won’t get much use out of it. Sadly, american canning practices seem to be too different from european ones (from different lids to different processes) to help me with my canning. It is a pretty book though and probably very helpful if you are in the US.
Grow Great Grub by Gayla Trail. Beautiful book, lots of gorgeous pictures and inspiration. This will be a great supplement to the Bountiful Container, though it doesn’t contain enough information as a stand alone for me (that could just be me though, I like to be really thorough in my research before I try something).
Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. What can I say, the Shakespeare fad hits me every couple of years. I’m a sucker for pretty words.
The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls. Picked this up when I bought Half Broke Horses but ended up reading it first. Disturbing and fascinating (especially to me with a bit of background on childhood psychology through college). Definitely a must-read!

I’m always on the look-out for more great reading, so if you have any suggestions I’d love to hear them!

4 thoughts on “winter reading

  1. Victoria Bennett Beyer

    I had no idea canning practices would be different – it is funny what is the same from continent to continent and what is so different. I just started canning this year and it is so satisfying, grabbing a jar of homemade spaghetti sauce or chicken soup instead of the not-so-healthy or tasty store-bought kind.

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    1. tidytipsy

      I know, I didn’t think they’d be so different either. I knew about the different lids but I thought the process would be pretty much the same. I think I’ll have to look for a german canning book🙂
      Oh, homemade spaghetti sauce and chicken soup sounds soo good, I bet they’re delicious! That’ s where I want to go too and I’m hoping for a good tomatoe harvest next year🙂 My mom used to make broth from chicken bones when I was a kid, there really is no comparison to the store-bought kind!

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  2. Victoria Bennett Beyer

    I agree! I have been saving all my veggie ends and stems and chicken carcasses and freezing them. Then, about once a month, I have been making broth and then freezing it in these special little containers that measure out one and two cups. It has been such an easy thing to do, and I love that it makes my cooking a little more pure.

    I am hoping to have some tomatoes, too, next year. The growing season is so short here in Wyoming, compared to South Carolina where I am from, that we never get the harvest I aim for. I think we’ll have to start them inside next year. I’ve been too lazy to do but homegrown tomatoes can’t even compare to the storebought kind. I am sick of bland tomatoes!

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    1. tidytipsy

      That broth sounds so good Victoria!! We’ve had cucumber and tomatoes on our balcony last summer and it is amazing how much better they taste. Like you said, you can’t compare them to the storebought kind. Even if the harvest isn’t great, better to be eating a few homegrown veggies than none at all!
      I am planning on starting all kinds of veggies inside next spring as well. I’ve never done it but I hope it turns out well on the first try🙂 We’ll also be growing lots of lettuces and salad greens.

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